Last time we left Lazarus, there was a cliffhanger that seemed to be putting Forever up against a foe she really didn’t want to fight. Is it good?
Lazarus #15 (Image Comics)
Jakob Hock has demanded trial by combat after being accused of murder and espionage by the Carlyle Family, in which a Lazarus from the two Families are to fight it out to the death to prove who is guilty and such. Very medieval to me, but it is what it is. Lazarus Forever steps up for the Carlyle Family, while Sonja from the Bittner Family (an ally of Hock who was moving towards aligning with Carlyle) steps up for Hock. This won’t be pleasant, especially with Forever and Sonja’s recent developing friendship.
Well you certainly can’t watch a battle to the death when you are thirsty after all.
This was a pretty good issue, but very light on story. The issue as a whole focuses completely on the trial by combat, establishing the rules, seeing the fight scene, and the immediate after effects of it. It’s good that the issue is able to establish this new plot point and actually wraps it up within the same pages as well (some series might drag this out over two issues). However, in return, the story and characters don’t really advance or develop outside of the opening and ending of the issue. So this issue will go by very quickly and feel like not much was accomplished outside of two plot points at the end (good ones mind you).
Overall, there wasn’t much too really discuss with the writing of the issue. The pacing was fine, but the entire middle of the book felt very decompressed and slow. It allowed for a very epic fight scene, but that was it. The story flowed pretty well from page to page, and the story didn’t have any structural problems to it. The dialogue was fine and had some nice bits of characterization here and there, like the exchange between Forever and Sonja before they fought. Speaking of which, the characterization was also fine, but nothing too noteworthy happened until the end of the book.
While most of the issue is a big fight scene, it’s a fantastic and incredible one. The action is smooth and flows incredibly well from page to page, really letting the blows and hits look nasty and brutal at points. For the most part, the characters do look good and fight realistically enough. However, there are some body poses and movements that don’t look all that natural in areas (like how Forever’s spine in one shot where she is sent flying looks really off) and even beyond that, some of the inking on the characters don’t look as smooth as usual. It’s subtle, but feels like some characters got a bit too much inking. Other than that and a weird coloring choice at the end of the book, the artwork was overall solid.
Is It Good?
Lazarus #15 was a really enjoyable issue, though it was much lighter on the story and character development. Things didn’t really progress much until the end of the book, but that wasbalanced somewhat with some great action in the middle. Not the best issue of the series, but still a fun ride nonetheless.